Andaman Cat Snake ( Boiga andamanensis Wall, 1909 )

  • Sharebar
Scientific Name: 
Boiga andamanensis (Wall, 1909)
Full Body Shot
Found in Andaman and little Andaman Islands only.
Venom Type: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Morphologically if can be identified by checking rather thin body, triangular shaped head, large eyes and vertically elliptical pupil. 


Average length- 100cm.
Maximum length- 148cm.

Dorsal -
Medium length, thin and laterally flattened body. Scales smooth and long in shape; top dosral scales are larger than side scales. Dorsal colour reddish, grayish-brown with faint or prominent black cross-lines in irregular manner up to tail where they usually become faint. Juveniles have dense bands than adults.

Ventral -
Belly color white or yellowish with blackish spots on the each edge of ventral scales. Subcaudal scales paired in zig-zag manner.

Head -
Head triangular with rounded edges; clearly broader than neck. Top of the head color same like dorsal with faint and irregular dark markings. Upper lip color whitish with posterior lip scales bearing black edge; one indistinct but observable streak runs behind the eye to posterior of head. Large eyes have vertical pupil.

Tail -
Long and thin tail typically like other tree snakes with a pointed tip. Dorsal body patterns found in faint form or may be absent.

Supralabial 8; 3rd to 5th in contact with eyes; loreal 1; preocular 1, reaches upper surface of head and often touches frontal; postocular 2 or 3; temporal 3+3 or 3+4.
Smooth scales in 21:21:15 rows.
255-269; strongly angulated laterally; anal entire.
Sub Caudal: 
118-133; paired.
Natural History: 
Locomotion slow. Behavior nocturnal, arboreal, shy, elusive and usually calm. On threatening throws half of fore body into loops with head on the top, sometimes jerk or flicker its tail also which is followed by mock attacks to keep distance with threatening object or animal. Not much is known about its breeding except that this is a oviparous species and young individuals seen during late summer and monsoon months.
Feeds mainly on lizards, birds, rodents, bats, frogs etc.
Threats includes killing due to misidentification with venomous snakes like Pit Vipers found in the same range. Like all endemic species of islands they are under verge of extinction due to climate change which will cause sinking of Islands in uncertain future.
Look Alike
Authors & Contributors: